Parents' Guide to

Coraline

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Cool but creepy animated fantasy too scary for young kids.

Movie PG 2009 100 minutes
Coraline Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 327 parent reviews

age 2+

Consider your kid's personality

My friend has loved this movie for years but I never watched it until 2 months ago. I LOVE it. I love it so much that I keep reading more about it and just bought the book. I think you really need to consider your child's personality for this one. My 10yo and 2yo are fine with it, but they like spooky stuff. My 8yo thinks it's too creepy, but she gets spooked easily. All depends on the kid.
age 12+

weird world

4 and 8 year old daughters watched this. Here is the review from our 8 year old: It was creepy. It was interesting and a little weird. After I got creeped I stopped watching. Everyone had buttons for eyes in this other world. Somebody stole their eyes, but they don't know who. Our 4 year old liked it at first and wasn't scared. But when the parents in the dream world turned bad, and the images got scary, she asked us to come in to watch with her. Personally, I (mom), did not much care for the story-- and even I thought the whole thing was strangely drawn and not very interesting. And also a little creepy. I am surprised at the common sense media reviews-- as well as the generally positive (highly) of the film. Oh well! I do think this could lead to nightmares. Image going into a world where your parents turn around and have black buttons for eyes, and they don't care for you any more-- and then when you go back to the 'real' world, your parents are gone. It's like the x-files.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (327 ):
Kids say (796 ):

Director Henry Selick, a stop-motion master best known for The Nightmare Before Christmas, creates a magical, colorful nether-world that's also dark and disturbing. At first, in addition to offering Coraline attentive "Other" parents, the alternate universe boasts a dazzling garden and a fantastic circus and theater acts, courtesy of the Other neighbors. Coraline, along with the audience, gets swept into the magic -- but there's an unnerving edge to all of the perfection. Everyone has buttons for eyes, except for Coraline and a mysterious talking cat (Keith David) that warns Coraline that her Other Mother isn't as warm and loving as she seems.

The 3-D effects (Coraline is Hollywood's first 3-D stop-motion film) are cool without being overwhelming, and the story is a two-pronged cautionary tale -- for parents and kids not to take each other for granted, and for people not to dwell on whether the grass is greener, because it could all be a huge, horrifying charade. Coraline ultimately learns that sometimes imperfect, messy lives aren't always as bad as they seem. Considering how formulaic so many family movies are, Coraline is a refreshing and inventive film. While too intense for some kids, it's a memorable treat for families with thrill-seeking tweens and up.

Movie Details

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